Wine Education Differences That Matter

The onset of August in Napa Valley signals the beginning of an exciting few months, when the air itself is perfumed with the fragrant smells of crush. Vigorous vines lush with fruit undergo an energetic transmutation from plant to human, as harvest workers abound with life, take to the fields and rob the vines of their preciously sweet, black and golden jewels.

This coming harvest season is particularly special to us here at The Napa Valley Wine Academy because we’re rounding the bend on our four-year anniversary. That’s four incredibly exciting years of bringing first-class education to industry veterans and eager enthusiasts, many of whom have gone on to become professionals in the industry as well.

We know that you, seekers of wine knowledge have choices, even other schools to consider. As the only WSET Approved Program Provider in Northern California, housed in our own brick and mortar headquarters in downtown Napa, we take education seriously. We take pride in bringing Napa’s premier wine school operating out of a dedicated facility (not a hotel conference center or home living room). Our roots are firmly planted in the valley and we are thankful to all of you who have made your educational journey with us. For those of you on your way, we look forward to seeing you come through our doors.

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To all of you who know us and follow us and to those of you curious about what’s happening at the Academy, we’ve highlighted a short list of just a few of the reasons why we believe our school is a cut above the rest.


We have a great team of world-class instructors who sit on our board and teach in our classrooms–people like Peter Marks, MW; Tim Gaiser, MS; co-founder Catherine Bugue, DWS, IWP, AWS; Csilla Kato, DWS, AIWS, a rockstar winemaker from Beringer; co-founder and chief-education officer Christian Oggenfuss, DWS., AIWS, FWS, IWP, AWS. and many more (see a complete list here)

No other school offers as many WSET classes on the west coast.

We pioneered WSET Boot Camps and interactive learning excursions to wineries, vineyards and barrel-making facilities and trips.

We are the first in the world to develop a comprehensive certification course dedicated to the study of American wine and viticulture in all 50 United States-The American Wine Studies program. We’ve carefully chosen over 60 producers to feature during the AWS courses so that students gain a keen understanding of the wide variety of U.S. wines–from New York rieslings, Minnesota Marquette and Texas viognier to Arizona syrah, Oregon pinot noir and Napa cabernet and chardonnay.

In addition to our Napa HQ, we have strategic partnerships with the Berns Epicurean Theater in Tampa, FL as well as a new partnership with Firestone Vineyards in Santa Barbara, where we’ll be offering more classes in the coming months.

We’re also a preferred education provider to several high-profile distributors, corporations and wineries.

Our Academy’s doors are always open. Through our partnership with WineEmotion we always have wines available to test your knowledge and pristine glassware for swirling provided by Riedel.

Our “Foundation Courses” offer a series of proprietary classes for in-depth studies of regions, grape varieties and courses to help hone tasting skills.

In the coming months, we’ll be expanding into the mid-west and in the coming years will extend our reach into major food and wine destinations throughout the U.S.





Cancellations of confirmed in-person course enrollments and workshops are accepted up to 60 days before the start of the course. An administration fee of $50 plus the full cost of the study materials and exam fees will be deducted, and the remainder of the course fee refunded to the payee. Separate WSET exam cancellation/transfer rules apply.
Transfers of a confirmed enrollment to another course are accepted 60 days before the course start date with an administration fee of $50.

Cancellations less than 60 days before the in-person course start date or course no shows forfeit any refund/transfer options unless students can provide medical documentation. If medical documentation is provided, students can be transferred to a later course. No refunds will be applied.

Course Transfers cannot be carried forward to the next academic year (which commenced on January 1).

Students are highly encouraged to purchase separate travel insurance.

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Flamingo Hotel Las Vegas

Your WSET Level 3 exam will take place on

February 12, 2023 at 10:00 AM (Pacific)


3555 Las Vegas Blvd

Las Vegas, NV 89109


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Mariott Santa Ynez

Your WSET Level 3 exam will take place on

April 23, 2023 at 10:00 AM (Pacific)


555 McMurray Road

Buelton, CA 93427


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Art Hotel Denver

Your WSET Level 3 exam will take place on

March 5, 2023 at 10:00 AM (Mountain)


1201 Broadway

Denver, CO 80203


You've got this!

Your WSET Level 3 exam will take place on

February 12, 2023 at 10:00 AM (Central)


1719 West End Ave.

Nashville, TN 37203


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Epicurean Hotel

Your WSET Level 3 exam will take place on

March 19, 2023 at 10:00 AM (Eastern)


1207 S Howard Ave,

Tampa, FL 33606


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Street View of HQ

Your WSET Level 3 exam will take place on

January 22, 2023 at 10:00 AM (Pacific)


2501 Oak Street

Napa, CA 94559